Health Care

If You Know ANYONE Working In A Hospital, Forward This On: MIT Posts Free Plans Online For An Emergency Ventilator That Can Be Built for $100

The new device fits around an Ambu bag (blue), which hospitals already have on hand in abundance. Designed to be squeezed by hand, instead they are squeezed by mechanical paddles (center) driven by a small motor. This directs air through a tube which is placed in the patient’s airway. Credit: Courtesy of the researchers. By David L. Chandler Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (3/28/20) Clinical and design considerations will be published online; goal is to support rapid scale-up of device production to alleviate hospital shortages. One of the most pressing shortages facing hospitals during the Covid-19 emergency is a lack of ventilators….

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California Created A Massive Medical Reserve – With Ventilators, Acute Care Beds & N95 Masks — Then Let It All Collapse

Mobile field hospitals are designed to be deployed during large-scale emergencies and natural disasters such as earthquakes, fires and pandemics. CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons The false economy of government cutbacks & austerity. By Lance Williams, Will Evans & Will Carless Reveal / Center For Investigative Reporting (3/27/20) They were ready to roll whenever disaster struck California: three 200-bed mobile hospitals that could be deployed to the scene of a crisis on flatbed trucks and provide advanced medical care to the injured and sick within 72 hours. Each hospital would be the size of a football field, with a surgery ward, intensive care unit and…


Code Blue America: Citizens Dying On Trump’s Lazy Learning Curve

“The nation craves a plan, not hunches.” —  Thomas Friedman, New York Times (3/26/20)  ***** “We don’t need a backup. We need a Tom Brady.” — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) criticizing Trump’s “backup” role (3/26/20) ***** “I’ve asked repeatedly and respectfully for help. We need it. No more political attacks, just PPEs, ventilators, N95 masks, test kits.” “You said you stand with Michigan — prove it.” — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) responding to Trump questioning if the “young, a woman governor…knows what’s going on”. By Dan Peak Commoner Call (3/30/20) Dear Fellow Readers, It’s important to note that Governors…


Pretender ‘Pro-Life’ Republicans Okay With Killing Off Grandma & Grandpa For Wall Street

Fox’s Brit Hume Says It’s ‘entirely reasonable’ To Let Grandparents Die For The Stock Market [Editor’s Note: Republican hypocrisy of its anti-abortion policies and propaganda has always been marked by hostility to the programs and funding needed to maintain a quality life beyond the birth canal; you know, little things like housing, health care, child care and education. The hypocrisy has soared to new heights in the Trumpandemic with a ho-hum attitude about sacrificing older citizens on the Altar Of Wall Street benefits. — Mark L. Taylor] By Matthew Chapman Raw Story (3/24/20) On Fox News Tuesday, commentator Brit Hume…


Frank Talk You Need To Hear On The Reality Of Covid-19 Treatment From A Physician

By Dr. David Chakoin Facebook (3/22/20) The virus is here, it’s arrived in Vernon County. We don’t have any confirmed positives as of this writing but I have seen patients who have it, I am certain. There’s something more you can do to prepare: Talk with the ones you love, and do it now. Talk to them about what should be done if they, or you, get a severe case of the virus. This is pretty grim stuff, but you need to understand it. Here it goes: • Most people, about 80%, will have a mild case. They will have…


REPORT: Trump Shrugged Off Repeated Intelligence Warnings About Threat That Is Now The Trumpandemic

Trump disbanded the White House Security Council Pandemic Task Force in January of 2018. ***** “The system was blinking red,” an intelligence official told The Washington Post, but no one could get Trump to “do anything about it.” By Mary Papenfuss HuffPost (3/20/20) After China reported the outbreak of a new coronavirus in December, U.S. intelligence agencies repeatedly warned the Trump administration in classified messages about the potentially devastating threat, The Washington Post reported Friday. Yet President Donald Trump largely ignored the warnings and delayed action that might have slowed the spread of the COVID-19 disease, according to the newspaper. Intelligence reports warned…


Blood Money: Bankers Pressure Health Care Firms To Jack Up Prices On Critical Medical Supplies To Treat Coronavirus Patients

By Lee Fang The Intercept (3/19/20) IN RECENT WEEKS, investment bankers have pressed health care companies on the front lines of fighting the novel coronavirus, including drug firms developing experimental treatments and medical supply firms, to consider ways that they can profit from the crisis. The media has mostly focused on individuals who have taken advantage of the market for now-scarce medical and hygiene supplies to hoard masks and hand sanitizer and resell them at higher prices. But the largest voices in the health care industry stand to gain from billions of dollars in emergency spending on the pandemic, as do the bankers and investors…


‘This system is doomed’: Doctors, Nurses Sound Off In NBC News Coronavirus Survey

“I don’t feel like my hospital is failing us. It’s the whole system that’s failing us.” By Hannah Rappleye, Andrew W. Lehren, Laura Strickler & Sarah Fitzpatrick NBC News (4/20/20) A hospital nurse in Michigan says she and her colleagues have discussed bringing in bleach to make their own disinfectant wipes. A pregnant nurse in Ohio says she has no choice but to tend to critically ill patients without a specialized N95 mask. And a health care worker in Georgia has resorted to scouring local hardware stores in an effort to secure the protective masks. These are just some of the…



With Lobbyists Comfortably In Place, Big Pharma Ready To Cash In BIG On Trump Pandemic Tragedy

In 2019, the pharmaceutical industry spent $295 million on lobbying, far more than any other sector in the U.S. [Editor’s Note: Keep in mind while American citizens pay the highest medication prices in the world, much of Big Pharma profits derive from taxpayer-funded research at universities and national labs. We pay for the research and the corporations price gouge the sick and disabled and hand out huge bonuses to their executives. It’s as perverted, pernicious and sick form of American capitalism as you can find. — Mark L. Taylor] By Sharon Lerner The Intercept (3/13/20) AS THE NEW CORONAVIRUS spreads illness, death, and catastrophe…


A Case Of Pure Corporate Evil — Italians Found Way To 3-D Print Key Ventilator Piece For $1 To Help Battle Coronavirus—So The Company With The Patent Is Threatening To Sue

“There were people whose lives were in danger, and we acted. Period.” By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (3/18/20) After two Italian volunteers used a 3-D printer to manufacture a desperately needed ventilator component for those stricken by the coronavirus, the medical company with the patent for the device threatened to sue—even as the printed valves saved at least 10 people’s lives in a hospital in the northern Italian city of Brescia. “There were people whose lives were in danger, and we acted,” Cristian Fracassi, who along with fellow volunteer Alessandro Ramaioli made the valves, said in a Facebook post on Sunday. “Period.”…


The Canadian Public Lab That Could Have Helped Fight COVID-19 Pandemic

The coronavirus outbreak may finally help expose the fallacy of the notion that the private marketplace is innately superior. By Linda McQuaig Toronto Star (3/11/20) Canada once had a publicly owned pharmaceutical company that could have made a difference in the current coronavirus crisis — except that we sold it. Connaught Labs was a superstar in global medicine. For seven decades, this publicly owned Canadian company performed brilliantly on the national and international stage, contributing to medical breakthroughs and developing affordable treatments and vaccines for deadly diseases. Hated by its corporate competitors, Connaught was unique among pharmaceutical companies in that its focus was on human…


‘Grotesque Level of Greed’: Owned By World’s Richest Man Jeff Bezos, Whole Foods Wants Workers To Pay For Colleagues’ Sick Leave During Coronavirus Pandemic

“With the amount Jeff Bezos makes in one day, he could shut stores down and pay employees to stay safe.” By Jon Queally Common Dreams (3/ When progressives like Sen. Bernie Sanders say “now is the time for solidarity” amid the coronavirus outbreak, they likely do not mean that employees of Whole Foods—owned by the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos—should be asked to give their own accrued paid sick days to their co-workers who have either contracted the deadly virus or been forced to take time out of work because of what is now a global pandemic. But that is exactly…



Health Insurance Stocks Drive Wall Street Rebound On Biden Super Tuesday Wins

‘What More Do You Need to Know?’ By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (3/4/20) Health insurance industry stocks surged Wednesday morning in the wake of former Vice President Joe Biden’s strong showing in the Democratic presidential primary’s Super Tuesday contests, opening up 600 points after traders appeared to bet the candidate’s resurgence would box out any chance of single-payer universal healthcare. “What more do you need to know,” tweeted journalist Jack Mirkinson of the market’s spike. Sanders has made Medicare for All a centerpiece of his campaign. The healthcare industry has poured millions in ad buys against Sanders after the Vermont senator won…


RECKONING: America Is About To Get A Godawful Lesson In Why Health Care Should Never Be A For-Profit Business

COVID-19 is going to swing a big hammer at the glass house of American health care. All anyone can do is hope they don’t get cut in the process. And then vote to change the damn system. By Mark Sumner Daily Kos (2/27/20) For four decades, American corporations have been caught up in a whole series of refinements that are intended to improve efficiency and productivity. Our processes are lean. Our efficiency is six-sigma. Our productivity has mysteriously run far ahead of employee compensation in a way that has made CEOs billionaires while leaving workers on food stamps. It’s a…


Inevitable: It’s Time For Families To Plan For COVID-19 Outbreak

Everyone should think about what they would need to care for sick family members at home. By Dan Gunderson MPR (2/24/20) So far, there are a few dozen confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, in the United States. But Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease director Kris Ehresmann said it’s very likely there will be outbreaks of the virus here. And Michael Osterholm, an expert in infectious disease at the University of Minnesota, said people should assume the virus will hit hard. Ehresmann said Monday that the state is well prepared to identify cases quickly…


Medicare For All: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

While the Tuesday South Carolina Democratic Presidential ‘Debate’ did little to nothing to enlighten voters, comedian John Oliver actually did an excellent job recently exploring the need, means and some critical myth busting about Medicare For All. While the game show theatrics and crowd pumping format of American political “debate” extravaganzas too often offer up little to enlighten voters, comedians frequently have a way of slicing through the campaign and media BS to the truth. Oliver did just that in this segment … with humor to ease the way. Link To 20-Minute Video


Medical Journal Study Of Medicare For All Shows It Would Save Americans $450 Billion & Prevent 68,000 Unnecessary Deaths Every Year

  Common Dreams (2/15/20) Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday applauded a new study published today by a team of epidemiologists in the peer-reviewed medical journal The Lancet, which found that Medicare for All will save Americans $450 billion and prevent 68,000 unnecessary deaths each and every year. “This study confirms that Medicare for All will save the American people $450 billion on health care costs and will prevent 68,000 unnecessary deaths – each and every year,” Sanders said. “In other words, guaranteeing health care as a human right by creating a Medicare for All system will cost substantially less than our current dysfunctional…


‘Outrageous And Un-American,’ Sanders Says Of City’s Jailing People For Unpaid Medical Debt

The brutal American health ‘care’ system is becoming more cruel. By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (2/11/20) Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday called “outrageous and un-American” the reality that residents of the small city of Coffeyville, Kansas—and people across the United States—are being arrested and jailed for their inability to pay off outstanding medical debt. On Sunday, CBS News reported on the story of Tres and Heather Biggs, a married couple from Coffeyville whose son Lane was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of five. Heather was simultaneously suffering from seizures caused by Lyme disease. “Tres Biggs was working two jobs but they fell behind…


“It’s Their Lifeline” — Video Of ER Doctor Confronting Mike Pence Over Trump Medicaid Cuts Viewed 1 Million+ Times

[Editor’s Note: Of course Mike Pence is clueless and callous to the healthcare crisis for most Americans. After all, he and his family bask in the safety and luxury of gold-plated healthcare coverage paid for by taxpayers, many of whom go with little or no health insurance for their own families. His is an especially cruel and despicable brand of hypocrisy and his bumbling dissembling response to a simple question reflective of a petty and shallow man . — Mark L. Taylor] By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (1/31/20) An emergency physician Thursday night confronted Vice President Mike Pence at a…


In Historic Shift, Second Largest Physicians Group In US Has New Prescription: It’s Medicare For All

“Major changes are needed to a system that costs too much, leaves too many behind, and delivers too little.” By Jon Queally Common Dreams (1/21/22) The fight for Medicare for All received a two-handed boost from tens of thousands of doctors on Monday when the American College of Physicians—in a move described as a “seachange for the medical professions”—officially endorsed a single-payer system as among only one of two possible ways to improve the nation’s healthcare woes. Representing 159,000 doctors of internal medicine nationwide, the ACP is the largest medical specialty society and second-largest physician group in the country overall…


In Year-End Address, Dying Healthcare Activist Ady Barkan Reminds Public Joe Biden Is The Only 2020 Democrat Not To Meet With Him

Healthcare activist Activist Ady Barkan first publicly asked former Vice President Joe Biden to meet with him on September 18, 2019. (Image: screenshot/NowThis) By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (12/23/19) Dying healthcare activist Ady Barkan in an end-of-year video to his supporters Monday called out the one candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination who has refused to meet with him: Joe Biden. “I got to sit down and talk about healthcare with every major presidential candidate,” Barkan said. “Except for Joe Biden.” Barkan, who is dying of ALS, or Lou Gherig’s disease, met with Democrats vying for the 2020 nomination…


Citing Dangerous Focus On Profits Over Patients, UW Hospital Nurses Call For Much-Needed Union Recognition

“We’re at the bedside — the eyes and ears on the patient all the time. [But] we’re not supported. We’re not given any sort of voice to make any changes.” By Erik Gunn Wisconsin Examiner (12/19/19) Five-and-a-half years after their collective bargaining rights were stripped in the aftermath of Act 10, registered nurses working for the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics Authority (UWHCA) on Thursday confronted the board of directors demanding recognition for a new union. “Unacceptable changes to staffing levels, nurse/patient ratios and the dissolution of key nursing departments have left thousands of professional nurses without tools they need to…


While Billionaires Profit, The Hidden Mental Health Crisis Across Rural America Worsens

  The Atlantic (12/6/19) It’s prohibitively difficult to access mental health services in rural America. That’s because, relative to urban areas, rural counties have so few mental health professionals. The majority of non-metropolitan counties in the U.S. don’t have a psychiatrist, and almost half lack a psychologist. The paucity has resulted in a veritable public-health crisis—rural Americans suffering from a psychiatric condition are more likely to encounter police than receive treatment. Each year, 2 million mentally ill Americans, most of whom aren’t violent criminals, end up in jail. Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/ind… “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” was directed by…


‘So If You’re Poor, You’re Dead’? Watch These Brits Gasp When They Find Out The Deadly, Crippling Cost Of Corporate Run Medical Profiting In The US

“Brits can’t fathom the barbarity of America’s healthcare system.” By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams Britons in a video released Tuesday expressed incredulity and shock at the high cost of healthcare in the United States and thanked the United Kingdom’s publicly-funded and administered National Health Service for sparing the country’s people such exorbitant prices. “So if you’re poor, you’re dead,” one young woman tells the interviewer from Joe Politics after hearing an asthma inhaler in the for-profit U.S. system costs between $250 and $300. Two different men appear shocked when told Americans can be charged $2,500 for an ambulance ride. “For real?” one…


Ohio Bill Orders Doctors To Do Impossible ‘reimplant ectopic pregnancy’ Procedure Or Face ‘abortion murder’ Charges

Ohio introduces one of the most extreme bills to date for a procedure that does not exist in medical science. By Jessica Glenza The Guardian (11/29/19) A bill to ban abortion introduced in the Ohio state legislature requires doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus – a procedure that does not exist in medical science – or face charges of “abortion murder”. This is the second time practising obstetricians and gynecologists have tried to tell the Ohio legislators that the idea is currently medically impossible. The move comes amid a wave of increasingly severe anti-abortion bills introduced across much of…


Brits Have No Idea: American Corporate Medical Wealth Enhancement Scheme Is Rolling Toward Britain To Make A Killing

  The very first thing on the chopping block is healthcare. Why? Because that, my friends, is where capitalism makes a killing. Literally and figuratively. [Editor’s Note: This is one of the best assessments of the inefficient and deadly corruption of the American medical corporate wealth enhancement scheme you will find. Spot on. — Mark L. Taylor] By Umair Haque Eudaimonia (11/28/19) Why — why on earth — would anyone want American style healthcare? You might be wondering why I even ask. After all, American healthcare is one of the modern world’s greatest and most epic failures. It’s such a failure, in…


So-Called ‘Army Built To Fight Medicare For All’ Is Nothing More Than ‘Just Hired Guns Hired By Corporate Stooges’

“We have to take this evil deadly seriously.” By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (11/25/19) This so-called ‘Army Built to Fight Medicare for All’ is just hired guns hired by corporate stooges. But doctors, nurses, and activists from across the country fight for Medicare for All because it’s right.” That’s how Adam Gaffney, president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), responded Monday to a Politico report about how top health industry lobbies “have joined forces to take down socialized medicine.” From patients and doctors to politicians and their staffers, many Medicare for All advocates reiterated their commitment to radically transforming the U.S. healthcare system in…


As He Attacks Medicare For All, Mayor Pete Paddles Along In Flood Of Corporate Cash From Health Care Executives

    By Alex Kotch Sludge (10/18/19) Thirty-seven-year-old South Bend, Indiana mayor and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has undergone a dramatic shift in health care policy in less than two years. Responding to criticism of his vague health care policies in early 2018, Buttigieg “declared” on Twitter that, “Most affirmatively and indubitably, unto the ages…I do favor Medicare for All.” Later, as he entered the Democratic presidential primary, he landed on a kind of compromise: a single-player option he likes to call “Medicare for All Who Want It” that lets him show support for those frustrated by the high costs…


Betrayal: Led By Pharma-Friendly Rep. Richard Neal, Democrats Crush Progressive Amendments To Signature Drug Pricing Bill

Under the current version of H.R. 3, it would take the government over 100 years to negotiate lower prices for all of the prescription drugs covered by Medicare. By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (10/24/19) Following the lead of pharma-friendly Rep. Richard Neal, Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee this week crushed several progressive amendments to a House drug pricing bill that would have expanded the number of medicines covered by the legislation and extended lower costs to the nation’s tens of millions of uninsured. The Intercept reported Wednesday that Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, warned…


Is Speaking Up For ‘Medicare For All’ To Congress Now A Capitol Crime?

The American insurance industry has some deals for you! By Joy Blackwood Our Future (10/17/19) As a longtime D.C.-area advocate, I’ve visited Capitol Hill and Members of Congress many times. But never before have I felt I might face arrest for exercising my constitutional rights! On Tuesday, I was on Capitol Hill with People’s Action and our coalition partners to deliver 2.2 million signatures to 13 Representatives, asking them to co-sponsor H.R. 1384 and pass Medicare For All. These members, who include Reps. Darren Soto (D-N.J.), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Pa.), and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), have not yet endorsed this bill,…


If Democrats ‘Don’t Have the Guts’ To Battle For-Profit Healthcare Industry, Says Sanders, ‘We Should Be Ashamed’

“I get a little bit tired, I must say, of people defending a system which is dysfunctional, which is cruel. Eighty-seven million uninsured, thirty-thousand people dying every single year, five-hundred thousand going bankrupt—for what reason?—they came down with cancer.” Common Dreams Staff (10/15/19) During a portion of Tuesday night’s Democratic debate focused on healthcare, Sen. Bernie Sanders interjected to castigate some of his 2020 primary rivals—namely former vice president Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg—for again repeating right-wing talking points against Medicare for All and defending the primacy of the for-profit insurance industry. “I get a little…


The Dark Web Is Saturating Our Communities With Deadly Fentanyl Imports From China

  China encouraging and subsidizing production and export of fentanyl and other drugs of abuse to US. Fresh Air (9/4/19) ‘Fentanyl, Inc.’ author Ben Westhoff says the synthetic opioid, while useful in hospitals, is killing more Americans as a street drug than any other in U.S. history. More than 70,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year. Westhoff talks about how it moves from China to your corner. Link to 35-Minute Audio


‘Los Angeles Times’ Investigation Shows How Vaping Crisis Began With Lobbyist Influence On Obama Administration

All Things Considered / NPR (10/2/19) NPR’s Michel Martin speaks with Los Angeles Times reporter Emily Baumgaertner about how the FDA tried banning vaping flavors, but the Obama administration rejected it. Link to 4-Minute Audio ***** FDA Tried To Ban Child-Enticing Flavors Years Before Current Vaping Outbreak But Top Obama Officials Bent To Lobbyist Pressure By Emily Baumgaertner Los Angeles Times (10/1/19) Unicorn Vomit. Cotton Candy. Gummy Bear. Skittles. Some teenagers who tried these playful vaping flavors thought they were just inhaling water vapor — not also nicotine, a chemical considered as addictive as heroin and cocaine. Now, as a mysterious vaping-related lung…


25 Ways Canadian Health Care Is More Humane Than America’s Brutal Medical Corporate Profit System

It’s decision time, America! By Ralph Nader Common Dreams (9/19/19) Dear America: Costly complexity is baked into Obamacare, and although it has improved access to healthcare for some, tens of millions of Americans still cannot afford basic medical care for their family. No healthcare system is without problems but Canadian-style single-payer — full Medicare for all — is simple, affordable, comprehensive and universal for all basic and emergency medical and hospital services. In the mid-1960s, President Lyndon Johnson enrolled 20 million elderly Americans into Medicare in six months. There were no websites. They did it with index cards! Everybody in, nobody out,…


Holdouts Vow To Challenge Purdue Pharma Settlement That Protects Multi-Billionaire Sackler Family Fortune

  “Purdue has had all of its money sucked from it by the Sacklers, so the money is with the Sacklers. This proposal is … not going to require the Sacklers to pay back any profits they took out from Purdue from the sales of OxyContin over the last 10 years.” — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy (D). By Nathaniel Weixel The Hill (9/17/19) Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy filing, the centerpiece of a settlement intended to shield the company and its owners from more than 2,500 lawsuits by cities and states over its role in the opioid crisis, is already facing…


A New Poll Reveals What Anti-Choicers Are Really About: Controlling Women

The goal of abortion opponents is clear: they do not want women to be equal players in society. [Editor’s Note: This article explains perfectly the hypocrisy of how anti-choice activists, who are supposedly in favor of life, oppose healthcare, education and childcare and supportive family programs that help the lives they hypocritically say they are so concerned about. The reason is that it is not about life; it is all about control, dominance and power over women. — Mark L. Taylor] By Jill Filipovic The Guardian (8/22/19) According to self-identified “pro-life” advocates, the fundamental divide between those who want to outlaw…


Dramatic Increase: Poll Shows 65% Of Democrats More Likely To Back 2020 Candidate Who Supports Medicare For All Over Obamacare Tweaks

“In January, 57 percent of Democrats said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who backs a Medicare for All health system over expanding the Affordable Care Act. That number has now risen to 65 percent.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (8/28/19) Bolstering single-payer proponents’ case that the U.S. public is hungry for transformative change to America’s profit-driven and dysfunctional healthcare system, a new poll released Wednesday found that 65 percent of Democratic primary voters are more likely to support a 2020 presidential candidate who backs Medicare for All over incremental fixes to Obamacare. The Politico/Morning Consult tracking survey (pdf) showed…


What A Recent Birth Cost For An American Parent In South Korea

“That’s my kind of ‘pro-life’ policy.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (8/26/19) The inefficiently expensive, unjust and profit-driven model of the American corporate industrialized medical profit system leaves most citizens with a very limited vision of what could be the humane and cost-effective norm for health care under a universal, Medicare For All kind of model of universal health care. Recently, a family member and his wife gave birth to a baby and he sent me a rundown of the support they received in the South Korean model of health care. From conception until the baby’s second birthday…